Picking a location for your pet photography session is a lot like buying real estate. At it’s core: it's all about the location, location, location.
You want the best place possible so that you can get the best images possible. Because even though the focus of the session is on your pets, the backdrop to your session can make or break an image.
But, before you pick the location there are 4 points you may want to consider when you’re making the decision.
Some of the factors that go into picking the perfect spot are:
Where You Often Go
Often some of the best locations are the places that you take your pets regularly.
These can be a good location as it's an area that your dog know well and is comfortable in.
Especially if your pet is prone to becoming nervous or timid in new locations or with new people. Going to a location they know and love will help them to be more secure and comfortable.
If you have a regular park or beach that you love to visit with your dog then suggest that to your pet photographer and let them know why it's important to you.
Locations With Special Meaning
You may have a location in mind of somewhere that you don't go to often, but that holds a special meaning to you.
Perhaps it was where you took your dog on their first outing to the beach or maybe it's where you like to stop and people watch along the boardwalk after your morning walk together.
Wherever it may be, as these locations can hold significant meaning to you, it's important to let your photographer know.
If we know in advance that a certain location or place is important to you, we can work with you to create a photo that represents that.
Your Home Decor and Lifestyle
This is often a detail that's overlooked but it could be something you would like to consider.
Most clients know what they want to do with their images after a shoot. Often it's an album or digital files. Other times, it's art for the walls in their home.
If it's wall art for their home, usually they have a spot in mind - above the lounge in the living room or perhaps in the entry hallway.
And since you know where you want your art to hang, it’s a good idea to take note of your decorating style and decor when you are planning your session location.
If you have an modern, industrial feel to your home, perhaps an urban location for your photoshoot would suit your home the best.
Alternatively, if you have a soft, natural look with lots of whites and creams then perhaps the beach would be a good choice for your session location as it would give you those same elements in your wall art.
By tying in your home’s decor with your session location you’re more likely to get images that will look great as a piece of art on your wall. And tie in with your overall design aesthetic.
Though don't forget to consider your pet's personality when planning this. A shy, timid pet isn't going to photograph well in a highly trafficked area for an urban shoot, for example.
Your Photographer's Suggestions
I often go location scouting to source new and interesting spots that I can suggest to my clients as possible locations for them.
There are a variety of factors that I consider when I go location scouting.
A good location with have a lot of visual interest at varying height levels, it will have multiple areas within the one location where great images can be taken and it will have beautiful natural lighting.
I also need to assess the safety of a space in relation to a dog: it it enclosed, are there any areas that could be potentially dangerous, is the area on lead or off lead?
If it's off lead - are there sections within it that are more private so that:
a) dogs don't interrupt in the middle of shooting and
b) so that it's safe for them.
These are just some of the things I keep in mind when looking for new spots.
Also, if a client has a location in mind that I haven't shot at before, I like to scout that location to see if it's a good area for photos.
If it is, I'm happy to go ahead with the location and will let the client know. If it's not a great spot (for whatever reason) then I will also let the client know and offer some different suggestions that matches the aesthetic they are after.
For example, if a client wants a park location but they one they suggest doesn't offer the visual interest I know that would look good in a photo, I'll offer an alternative location in a park to them.
I wouldn't offer them a beach location if I knew they had their heart set on a park/forest location because as pretty as the location could be - it's not meeting the pet owner's needs.
So keep these 4 points in mind when you're thinking about your session location. And if you have any questions - reach out. I'm always happy to help.
If you want some more information on booking a session with me you can contact me here.
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